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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Stone Hut farm

Robert (aka 'Robin') Maloney emigrated in 1851 and although he had relatives in other parts of Australia, he came to this district and settled near the Yass Road in Ainslie.

It is thought that he followed his sister (or cousin) Bridget Nealon/Neylon and her daughter, also Bridget, who emigrated in 1851 to join her husband James at Stone Hut farm, near the area where the old Weetangera Road met Yass Road.

Samuel Shumack wrote :
"The first tenant of the Stone Hut farm on the Weetangerra Road was James Neylon.
He was transported for life and arrived in Australia towards the close of the thirties.
He left a young wife and daughter in Ireland. Neylon received a pardon. His wife and daughter arrived a year later. Neylon left the district in 1869 and settled at Yass"
. [Shumack p.99]

Around 1856 Robin Maloney acquired his first 100 acres, being Portion 35, Parish of Canberra on Yass Road, Ainslie, "near the Stone Hut", under clause 22 of the Crown Lands Alienation Act. Peter and Joseph Shumack acquired the adjacent two blocks and Joseph built the Old Canberra Inn on his portion. John Gale summarised the main land holdings as at 1855 as: "Northwards were the farmsteads of the Shumacks, Maloneys and one or two else."

"In 1857 some land at Canberra was surveyed into 100-acre blocks, and Robert Maloney, Peter Schumack and his nephew Joseph, and Joseph's mother secured blocks." [Schumack, p.15]

About 1859 when blocks of land were surveyed and sold at Canberra, Robin Maloney secured two blocks of 100 acres each and I often saw him at work improving this land when I was shepherding. I saw him building a house, ......... The house under construction was the same type as those constructed locally, but was superior in that it had a double chimney and a verandah.[Shumack, p.98]

Robert married Mary Walsh/Welsh in 1859 and gradually expanded the farm, then known as 'Stone Hut" farm', on which they had thirteen children.

Robert acquired in 1856 portion 22 (35) of 100 acres, in 1861 portion 3 of 51 acres, 1 of 100 acres, and by 1879 portion 131 of 40 acres, 143 of 40 acres, totalling 331 acres.

His sons Richard acquired adjacent portions that he called 'Hillside' and later Robert Jnr farmed the property called "Innes".

A small block adjacent to their land was resumed for the Stone Hut (Gunghaleen) School around 1885.

The original farmhouse was near the now North Lyneham shopping centre and extended from the Yowani golf course and up the hill into North Lyneham.

Robert Maloney died in 1889 and his sons Richard and Robert Jnr continued farming the properties.

Related Photos

Ellen Read [Maloney] ⧉

Click on the caption (⧉) to view photo details and attribution.


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